Environmentally-Friendly DIY Staging Prep for Your Home

Need Ideas For Productive Quarantine Activities?

Like many of you,  we are getting creative these days. We teamed-up with Green Home Solutions and Seattle-area interior designer and stager, Cayetana San Segundo to come up with some DIY activities to help you get your home ready for sale once we get to the other side of this quarantine. This is a good time to address those projects you’ve been meaning to get done!

Green Home Solutions recommends paint, stain and adhesive products by AFM Safecoat.

First Things First

Assess the property thoroughly. Consider your home’s positives and negatives, such as whether a space has high ceilings, a beautiful view, or is small or a little dark. Understanding the full scope of the project will determine what’s needed from a fix-up and decorating perspective.


Grimy bathroom walls raise red flags. Here is an easy, non-toxic way to get rid of surface mold: Mix a spray bottle with one-part water and one part vinegar. Just spray it on the wall, let it sit for an hour or so, and give it a wipe/scrub. Vinegar also deters future mold growth. Give it a fresh coat of paint, and your grimy bathroom will go from red flag to red-hot.

Don’t replace a filmy shower door. Just scour it. Time to build a little muscle. A dirty glass shower door can wash out a room. Instead of replacing it, clean it with a mixture of vinegar, borax and essential oils for a pleasant smell and additional power. After cleaning, reinstall the door and you’ll have a shower that’ll help you clean up at that future open house.

Avoid dated tile by painting it. Bathrooms sell houses, but dated tile doesn’t inspire. A low-cost alternative to replacing tile is to use paint. First coat the tiles with a high-adhesion primer. Next, brush on an adhesive coating and paint. For a fraction of the cost, you will have an up-to-date bathroom that people will want to call their own.

Pedestal sinks? Yes, please. Pedestal sinks show off square footage in small bathrooms and make it feel more comfortable. Yep, your old vanity has to go. Hook up your new sink and your bathroom will have updated appeal that will increase value.


Do you have an overpowering brick fireplace?  Here’s an easy way to tone it down with paint. Use a rag or brush to rub a light coat of paint on the bricks, one at a time. This will give them a new tone without covering them completely. Consider a paint color that matches the walls and your fireplace will go from sticking out to adding grace and elegance.

Sooty fireplace no more. Need to turn a dirty fireplace into a selling feature? First, that dated brass screen has got to go. Next, give the fireplace a good cleaning, scrubbing it with soap and water. You’ll be amazed.

Counters, Cabinets & Floors

Freshen up. Stain dated kitchen cabinets.  Dated kitchen cabinets can be a turnoff to potential buyers. Don’t replace them, just stain them. First, apply the stain in even strokes, going with the grain of the wood. Next, add some stylish hardware and your kitchen will have a new look!

Fill existing hardware holes. Removing old kitchen hardware can leave your cabinets with stripped-out holes. Here is a trick to refurbish the existing ones. First, dip a toothpick in glue and place it in the stripped hole. Cut off the excess piece. Once the glue dries, you’ll be ready to put in that new hardware.

Save money on updated countertops. Good countertops are a huge selling feature, but they can be expensive. Do the demo yourself and seek out a reuse product or ask the vendor for remnants from previous projects. Remember, money you spend will be returned in the value these updated counters add to your kitchen.

New kitchen appliances bring high returns from sellers. Studies show that new kitchen appliances bring high returns from sellers, so get rid of old appliances that waste energy and make the the kitchen look dated. Even better, add the selling-point of energy efficient appliances. Consider going for an induction stove over a gas stove to ensure that your home is geared towards future buyers.

Adding drama to old hardwood flooring is easier than you might think. First, isolate damaged boards, cut them out and replace them with new pieces. Rent a sander from a local hardware store, and give the floor a good sanding. Stain the boards with a rich color, and watch your floor go from drab to dramatic.

Impactful Neutrality

Gender neutral master bedroom. When you are selling consider that people of all genders and interests should be able to envision themselves there. Paint the walls a neutral color, and choose bedding that matches. Accessorize with items that complement the overall color scheme.

Let the sun shine in. Buyers love light and airy living rooms. Open up your window shades to let some light in. Cheat some sunshine with a light-colored paint and attractive lamps. Arrange the space with lightly colored furniture and you’ll have a bright living room.

Stage rooms with purpose. Potential buyers are confused by extra rooms. Paint the walls of an undesignated room a neutral tone and furnish with a desk to stage it as a home office or turn it into into a workout, reading, or family room.

One the same note, avoiding religious or political art and accessories is wise. You never know who is coming to see your home.

Create a nice flow. Buyers are attracted to homes that have a good flow. You can create circulation by replacing square or rectangular tables with round ones. Also, arrange furniture so that it is easy to move in and out of spaces.

Embrace the power of accessories. In your living room, opt for low-profile sofas with clean lines, weaving in a mix of accessories for visual interest. Customize looks with different textures like area rugs, beautiful throw pillows, and throws.

Consider vintage accents. When you’re sorting through your vintage items and family heirlooms, it’s best to proceed with caution. Make sure it’s a piece you absolutely love. It should be interesting and functional.

Don’t be afraid of a high-low mix. Just about every room can benefit from a combination of pricey and inexpensive pieces, regardless of its aesthetic. You can have reclaimed or Ikea cabinets in a room with absolutely beautiful furnishings, and if you put a unique handle, base or top on it, you will never know it’s origin.

Need to dress up a window but don’t want to shell out big bucks? Here’s an old college trick: use place mats. First, apply a hook-and-loop fastener to the place mats and attach them in a row to a basic curtain rod. Now that the place mats are attached to the curtain rods, pin them together at the bottom, and you’ll have a stylish valance that costs about $12.

Buyers love built-in bookshelves. There’s a fine line between filling them with clutter and staging them to sell. The trick is to arrange neutral items in clusters. Make sure that no single accessory stands out too much. That way, you’ll show off your attractive built-ins, and not your personal belongings.

Curb Appeal Matters

Home exterior. Before you consider your landscape, focus on cleaning the exterior of your home. By simply sprucing up the outside, you can make a strong positive impression on potential buyers.

All you need is a pressure washer, a bucket of soapy water, and a long-handled brush. Whether the home has wood, vinyl, metal, stucco, brick, or fiber cement siding, a little washing can remove years of dust and dirt. Don’t forget to wash your windows, clean your eaves, and power-spray your garage door.

Yard and patio time. Make sure your grass is neatly cut and green, replacing or seeding dead patches. You should also trim any trees, prune your shrubs and mulch. My boyfriend and I usually rent a chipper and cut up the branches we just pruned.

Replace bare spots or dead plants with shrubs or flowers that will be in bloom this summer/fall – I always encourage going with native plants for the sake of ease, durability and the chance to provide habitat. Pollinator-friendly plants are a great idea, too. When the time is right, add a couple statement pots with plants in the same color-scheme next to your walkway or door and you will be saying, “welcome”!

Light it up. Homebuyers like homes that look good night and day. A quick fix is to add solar light fixtures to your walkways and custom light fixtures on your porch and around your garage door.

Open doors. The typical front door is rather dull. To add some “pop” to your home, consider making your front door your home’s focal point. Replace the standard white door with an artistic creation or paint it red for a burst of color.

Deck it out. A nice outdoor deck can be a big selling feature, but an old one is a liability.  To give your outdoor space new life, first sand the wood. Cover it with a light-colored stain instead of paint to give it a rustic, grainy look. Furnish it for entertaining and prepare for your eventual open house to turn into a party.

Breathe new life into a worn brick patio. Do you have a red-brick patio surface that needs to be freshened up? Here is an easy way to give it new life with paint. First, roll a light coat of paint onto the bricks. Next, lightly spray them with water and then dab them before they dry to give them a slightly weathered look.

We hope these tips inspire! Please let us know if you have any questions or additional ideas to share.

Stay safe and be well!

Leave a Reply